CHIHUAHUA: ‘Massive’ eagle mauls small dog
A TINY, 18-month-old chihuahua suffered puncture wounds and deep gashes after it was set upon by a "massive" wedge-tailed eagle at a rural Victorian property on Easter Monday.
Bear, the 1.9kg puppy, is struggling to walk but recovering after the attack at the family's Kinglake property.
Owner Mitch Bartlett was pumping water on the family's 2ha property about 10am on Monday when he noticed one of the family two dogs had followed him. He heard a rustling in the bushes and what sounded like a bird crying.
A closer look revealed Australia's largest bird of prey had pinned his dog and was "trying to rip it apart".
"It was a bit of a scary moment yesterday," he told 3AW. "I got up in the morning ... I went to go down to the river, didn't realise the dogs had followed me down - not that it would matter because they normally spend quite a bit of time outside.
"Heard what sounded like a baby bird crying and hadn't really heard that noise before but being where we are in the middle of a national park up here there's all sorts of funny animal noises.
"I've turned around and went to walk back towards the house and just out the corner of my eye probably 10m away something moved in the bush. I thought it might've been a fox or something. Had a better look and realised it was a massive wedge-tailed eagle with what looked to be a rabbit in it's talons.
"It's actually one of our little chihuahuas - a little 1.9kg chihuahua. As soon as I saw that I ran straight at it yelling and screaming, luckily enough it dropped her."
Mr Bartlett said the eagle left the chihuahua "pretty bloodied up".
"Her eyes were popping out of her head, she was going crazy," he said.
"It landed on her, had her in its claws, and was just like pecking at it with its beak, trying to rip it apart.
"It's dropped it and jumped up on a fence post and literally just sat there staring at us."
In 2016, a woman from Kilsyth, east of Melbourne, had her four-month-old chihuahua Fudge snatched by a crow. Heather Sinden said the dog, which would fit in the palm of a person's hand, let the dog outside when she saw crows circling.
The pet was given to Ms Sinden two months earlier to help her through a battle with lung cancer.